The teacher and parents together create experiences that provide continued encouragement and motivation for the child.
This is the heart of the Suzuki method and the key to your child’s success!
The purpose of listening is not to memorize the music, but to internalize it. The songs become internalized through immersion listening, which is how babies and young children learn language: they are constantly immersed in the sounds of people speaking and are able to mimic what they hear.
The more your child hears the songs on the Suzuki CD, the faster they will learn to play them. Students easily learn the songs in Suzuki Book 1 if the songs are constantly playing softly in the background throughout the day. Most students progress well if they are hearing the recording for 5-6 hours per day.
One of the wonderful things about doing sufficient listening is the student can self-correct when figuring out the notes to a song by ear. They will know if what they just played is correct because they will hear the correct version inside their head and won’t need the teacher or parent to tell them if they are playing the right notes. What a great way to empower your child, boost their confidence in their own ability, and maintain their interest and motivation!
Observation is an integral part of lessons in my studio and will constitute part of your child's lesson time each week. The learning you and your child do in the role of observer is just as important as the learning that takes place when your child is at the piano.
The time spent observing other students' lessons will accelerate your child’s progress, strengthen your skills as your child’s home practice coach, and contribute to your child’s overall success.
Your child is not expected to actively “watch” the other lessons, but only needs to be quiet. Your child will absorb an enormous amount of information just by being in the studio environment. Most students read, draw, or do homework during their observation time.
Repetition and Mastery
Even without any help from a parent or teacher, children will instinctively use repetition to get better at whatever it is they are trying to learn on their own. With piano lessons, learning to coordinate fingers and hands involves muscle learning, and the body requires lots of repetitions for this kind of skill development—even though the brain might “get it” really quickly. It is through this process of skill development through repetition that students acquire the ability to play musically at a high level. This is what we generally define as talent.
Learning With Other Children
Having a peer group enhances learning at all ages, and becomes one of the top motivating factors for sticking with piano once students become teenagers. Group classes provide opportunities for learning and reviewing theory and musicianship concepts in ways that cannot be accomplished during a student’s individual lesson time. The group class setting is perfect for strengthening skills like sight-reading, ensemble playing, and performance. In terms of motivation, confidence building, and pure enjoyment, there is no substitute for making music together with piano friends!